By Rob Beschizza at 7:34 am Fri, Dec 14, 2012
I have no idea about elephants, but I know that for humans, this would be a horrible idea. It increases blood flow to the extremities, which is perhaps good for avoiding frostbite, but bad for avoiding hypothermia. And of the two, hypothermia is the one that will kill you
That is what I was thinking as well, but then, I am not an elephantologist.
At least elephants don’t have fingers and toes to freeze.
Wow. Less than 11 minutes ago, I began trying to figure out how I could work IANAE into a conversation, and here’s my chance!
Anyway, IANAE, but I think they do, in fact, have toes.
but they do have a trunk, tail and giant ears.
It seems like frostbite was the main concern (though the AP headline might be a little misleading). Elephants are massive enough that it would take some time for their entire bodies to cool off enough to risk hypothermia, but their extremities would be at risk of frostbite right away – especially the ears, which are huge, thin and evolved especially to disperse heat. So for an elephant stuck in very low temperatures for a relatively short period of time, something that increases blood flow might be just the right thing.
Yeah, I was just reading up on elephant frostbite. I came across this gem:
Frostbite affecting the ears and prepuce has been recorded in a circus elephant
And I said to myself, frostbite of the what now?
having looked it up, I think I need to go find myself a unicorn chaser
Hey, you think that shoveling elephant shit is the worst job in the circus, imagine being one of the three people that has to keep the delicate parts of the elephant warm by rubbing them with your hands, and drawing the short straw.
Touching an elephant’s weenie is not something humans should do, as it can initiate a reflex in the weenie that can cause the human damage, like knock the human down or cause a black eye and other damage.
Poor guy–imagine if he had to go to the ER and describe how he got injured.
According to Wikipedia, elephants usually have difficulty radiating excess heat (one of the reasons that they take frequent mud baths), and their skin is almost an inch thick, so it’s possible that the main effect of ingesting ethanol would simply be that they get more calories in their system, which of course is good in cold conditions.
Suddenly the soundness of the method used in the Mythubsters episode on this topic is called into question!
The animals were not intoxicated? Really? Is this just a throwaway, or is there reason to believe that this particular vodka did not have the same effect most other vodka has?
An elephant weighs 50 times as much as a human. (Assuming a 4-tonne elephant and an 80kg human.) They were given the equivalent of two decilitres to one of us – enough to get in a good mood, perhaps.
This was based on reports that the elephants asserted loudly and repeatedly that they were not drunk, and had only had a couple drinks.
They also angrily demanded their car keys for 2 minutes, after which they settled down and professed their love for everyone present.
You’re right, here’s a video from that evening:
I broke my mouse from clicking Like too much!
The headline would make a great name for a GBV album.
Alcohol dilates blood vessels and thus speeds body cooling. It’s a myth that alcohol can warm the drinker. The people who gave alcohol to these cold elephants were simpletons. End of story
You didn’t read the article or the comments here, did you?
One could use two pillows as ear-warmers. Althought, it is kind that he shared his vodka . . .
Neal: Del… Why did you kiss my ear?
Del: Why are you holding my hand?
Neal: [frowns] Where’s your other hand?
Del: Between two pillows…
Neal: Those aren’t pillows!
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